Why Compliments Make You Cringe

Woman giving a compliment to a friend who appears to be embarassed

Verywell / Julie Bang

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Every Friday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, shares the “Friday Fix”—a short episode featuring a quick, actionable tip or exercise to help you manage a specific mental health issue or concern.

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Friday Fix: Episode 103

On the surface, it seems like hearing nice things about yourself would help you feel good. After all, don’t you want to know if your colleague thinks you’re brilliant or the person you’re dating thinks you’re attractive? 

If hearing a compliment actually makes you feel uncomfortable, though, you’re not alone. Most people cringe when they hear a compliment about themselves.

In an attempt to alleviate the awkwardness, we tend to deflect compliments. Consequently, we miss out on the benefits of hearing praise.

Fortunately, you can grow more comfortable with hearing nice things about yourself. But first, you have to understand why you don’t want to hear compliments.

So in this Friday Fix, I share the four main reasons compliments make us cringe, the three ways we try to deflect compliments and the things you can do to get more comfortable hearing nice things about yourself. 

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By Amy Morin, LCSW, Editor-in-Chief
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.